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Full text of "A history of Persia"

XLVIII

THE OMAYYAD CALIPHATE          57
Welid II. and Tezid IIL, A.H. 125-126 (743-744).—
The last Caliphs of the Omayyad dynasty call for little
mention. Welid, a profligate ruler, was killed by his
cousin Yezid, who himself died a few months later. The
whole of the Moslem world was in a state of anarchy,
during which Ibrahim, the successor of Mohamed, worked
strenuously to advance the Abbasid cause.
The Rebellion of Ibn Muavia^ A.H. 126-129 (744~747)-
—During the Caliphate of Merwan II., who succeeded
Yezid IIL, there were various insurrections in Syria,
which were crushed with the vindictive cruelty that was
now usual Of greater importance was the rebellion of
Ibn Muavia, a descendant of Jafar, brother of All. Upon
the accession of Merwan the Pretender was acknowledged
at Kufa, but, being deserted by its ever fickle inhabitants,
he retreated to Madain, where thousands rallied to his
standard. With this force and the support of the Khari-
jites, Ibn Muavia established himself at Istakhr, and his
Governors ruled in Isfahan, and in Rei and Kumis. In
A.H. 129 (747) the Pretender was defeated by the Syrian
troops and, like other pretenders, fled to Khorasan. The
famous Abu Muslim, of whom we shall hear more very
shortly, was at this time established at Merv, nominally
in the interests of the Hashimite section of the Kureish,
but actually as the agent of the house of Abbas. Ibn
Muavia not unnaturally looked to him for support, but
was put to death by the Governor of Herat, on Abu
Muslim's orders.
The Raising of the Black Standard in Khorasan^
A.H. 129 (747).—Everywhere the weakening control of
the central power allowed the Arabs to waste their
strength in internal feuds, and alike in Spain in the
extreme west, in Africa, in Syria, and in Irak the situation
was most gloomy for the Caliph. In Khorasan too the
able Governor Nasr who had proved his military capacity
by defeating and capturing Kursul the Khakan, was
opposed by the Yemenite faction, and the ceaseless quarrel
between Modhar and Yemen convulsed Khorasan as
much as it was convulsing Spain.
At this juncture Abu Muslim raised the black standard